A ‘labor hall for the community,’ East Side Freedom Library off to promising start

Since the 99-year-old Carnegie library at Greenbrier and Jessamine reopened as the East Side Freedom Library last year, it’s hosted concerts and film screenings, lectures and panel discussions, an economics workshop and a Juneteenth celebration. The independent, nonprofit library is becoming the center of grassroots community activity, history and storytelling that East Siders Peter Rachleff […]

Unions break ground on new Labor Center in St. Paul

Labor and civic leaders today broke ground on a new hub of operations for St. Paul’s unions. The ceremony took place a week after Catholic Charities assumed ownership of the old St. Paul Labor Centre, better known as “411 Main.” The new labor center will stand at 345 West 7th Street, about one block south […]

Bobby Kasper: Moving our hall, bringing along the spirit of 411 Main

A house is more than its walls and windows, more than the foundation and support beams that hold it together. Memories make a house a home. The friends and family members who gathered there – and the accomplishments that took place under its roof – are as much a part of any house as its […]

St. Paul City Council takes stance against ‘poor trade policies,’ including fast track

The St. Paul City Council took up the fight to stop fast track Wednesday, when members unanimously approved a resolution “opposing the extension of bad trade policies.” “The people of the City of Saint Paul have the best chance to benefit from pending trade and investment agreements only if the process by which they are […]

Bobby Kasper: We can’t afford to let complacency set in

The Boston Red Sox were 62-28 on July 19, 1978. They were on pace to win a whopping 111 games. Their bitter rivals, the New York Yankees, lagged 14 games behind in the American League East standings, a deficit that seemed too big for any team to overcome. The Red Sox were considered heavy favorites […]

Bobby Kasper: Labor Day reminds us what’s at stake in November

We are at another crossroad. The Minnesota labor movement holds its destiny in its own hands. In 2012 we ran one of the most successful political programs in the country. We took back the Minnesota House and Senate. We took back seats that our own polling said it was highly unlikely we would win. As […]

O’Mara receives St. Paul labor federation’s Humanitarian Award

The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, awarded its 2013 Humanitarian Award to longtime United Way staff member Elizabeth “Biz” O’Mara. President Bobby Kasper presented O’Mara with the award at the RLF’s May delegate meeting. O’Mara, who retired from Greater Twin Cities United Way over the winter, embodied the connection between area unions and the […]

Bobby Kasper: Super Bowl will showcase union workers

It doesn’t take most people very long to realize I’m not a native Minnesotan. My New York accent is usually a dead giveaway. But after living here for 20-plus years, Minnesota is the place I’m proud to call home. That’s why I was thrilled to learn the Twin Cities will play host to Super Bowl […]

MLK vigil brings prayers for deportations to stop

The 40th anniversary of iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s assassination April 4 was marked with vigils locally and across the country in support of the most pressing civil rights issue of today, immigration reform. The MLK vigils and the “Two Million Too Many National Day of Action” a day later drew support from […]

Minimum-wage victory showcases potential of labor-community partnerships

On April 14, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill gradually raising Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2016 and indexing the wage so that it keeps pace with inflation beginning in 2018. The bill signing was a victory for more than 350,000 workers statewide who are expected to see a raise as a […]